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What does the future hold for tomorrow’s workforce?

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23.08.2016— The International Labour Organisation (ILO) launches its latest report: “World Employment and Social Outlook 2016: Trends for Youth”, an update on global and regional youth employment.

As the global jobs crisis persists, young people across the world enter into an uncertain labour force, as both developed and developing economies face a significant challenge in bridging the jobs gap, created as a result of the global financial crisis in 2008, in addition to improving overall job quality. 

The ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook-  Trends 2016, released in January, covers all countries in the world and describes patterns in the main regions and sectors. It provides an overview of recent trends in employment, unemployment and labour force participation as well as different dimensions of job quality such as vulnerable employment and working poverty. It also presents projections for the period 2015–17 for employment and unemployment. 

According to ILO’s report, the final figure for unemployment in 2015 stands at an estimation of 197.1 million, 27 million higher than the pre-crisis level of 2007, and has been forecast to reach 199.4 million by 2016.

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder says, “The significant slowdown in emerging economies coupled with a sharp decline in commodity prices is having a dramatic effect on the world of work”. He adds, “Many working women and men are having to accept low paid jobs, both in emerging and developing economies and also, increasingly in developed countries”.

Although the unemployment rate has decreased in EU countries and the US, the emerging labour force is still being affected by the persistent jobs gap. Ryder argues, “Too many people are still jobless. We need to take urgent action to boost the number of decent work opportunities or we risk intensified social tensions.”

Youth unemployment rates are generally much higher than unemployment rates for all other ages, and historically, women have been more affected by unemployment than men. The ILO’s update on this research provides insight into gender inequalities as well as migration among young people, as employment remains one of the main reasons why young people emigrate. This issue continues to prevail in Europe, as young graduates struggle to find work across the continent. 

Photo: UN

As today’s labour force expands, the ILO’s latest research directly ties into and calls for the urgent implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8, which promises to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all men and women by 2030. 

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